Your Complete Guide to Trench Shoring Systems

8 June 2021

Working underground presents unique challenges, and the threat of a cave-in is ever present. When your team is in the trenches, it’s critical that your trench shoring systems are safe and effective. Trench shoring systems are designed to help you protect your people and achieve your goals flexibly and cost-efficiently.

Here’s a summary of what you can find in trench shoring rentals and how the various offerings can help you:

  • The Airshore Rescue Strut is a lightweight, positive-locking aluminum support strut that can be activated manually or by air. It comes with removable attachments and bases that stick to all shapes, surfaces, and situations. The pneumatic Airshore Rescue Strut provides horizontal and angled support.

  • Trench boxes are shoring systems that protect people from being crushed if a cave-in occurs. They are also called trench shields and ditch boxes. The Cat® Rental Store offers GroundWorks trench shoring products, which are up to 40 percent lighter than traditional trench boxes. GroundWorks Safety Systems Inc. (GWSS) offers the safest, fastest, lightest, and most economical trench box in the world. The simplicity of the system ensures people can keep a safe distance by using a tag line. Setup and takedown are fast and easy, requiring just one machine and two people. High arch spreaders give you the maximum amount of clearance for bore pits and large-diameter pipes.

  • Aluminum lite shield panels are a modular shoring system that can be adjusted quickly when site requirements change. The Lite-Shield™ 24 Series built by GME offers a choice of panel lengths from 2 to 12 feet. The lightweight 24-inch panels can be transported easily, and the system assembles in minutes on the jobsite. For maximum versatility, the system can be used in a two-, three-, or four-sided configuration. This lite shield system is ideal for municipalities and anyone doing light-duty underground projects.

  • Slide rail shoring systems are engineered to keep your people safe while saving you money and time. They allow you to go down to greater depths and work closer to potential hazards, such as railways, buildings, and roadways. Slide rail systems can be used even in poor ground conditions, and they’ll help minimize the cost of restoring the site. The GME Slide Rail System is a modular dig-and-push style shoring system that allows for multiple configurations. It’s ideal for vibration-sensitive areas such as near buildings or other structures.

Shoring safety accessories
  • Guard railings: Guard rails can be used on all Cat Rental Store shoring systems. Our GroundWorks guard rails are a simple pin-on accessory that can be added to any GroundWorks steel trench box.

  • Catwalks and ladders: Use fully engineered catwalk access platforms and vertical ladders to allow your team to safely enter and exit an excavation. Catwalks can span up to 10 feet and are directly attached to a ladder or access platform.

  • Davit arms: DBI-SALA variable-offset davits are designed for use where multiple offset masts are required. The variable-offset masts can be equipped with front- and/or back-mounted winches or Self Retracting Lifelines and feature an anchor point rated up to 5,000 pounds (22kN), depending on pin position. Quick connect/release pins allow for fast and easy setup, takedown, and transport.

  • Road plates: The Cat Rental Store also offers a variety of sizes of certified road plates for rental and purchase. All plates come with a flush mount lifting plate that allows the lifting tool to quickly connect, controlling and balancing the load.

Many excavations require confined-space-entry equipment, so talk to your Cat Rental Store representative about gas monitors, winches, davit arms, and more.

Inspecting your trench shoring systems

Trench shoring is critical for keeping your jobsites safe. You must have a competent person on site who oversees all aspects of the excavation, and that includes inspecting your shoring equipment. Shoring must be checked daily and whenever conditions change. Anything that affects the moisture content of the soil has the potential to weaken your shoring system.

When inspecting your trench shoring, check hydraulic pressure and look for possible leaks and cracks in the trench boxes. The experts at The Cat Rental Store will walk you through the inspection steps when they help you design your shoring system.

Installation support

The Cat Rental Store’s GWSS-competent install advisors will guide you through the key areas of installation. They offer:

  • Classroom awareness workshops: Get a product overview, learn about hazards and controls, understand tabulated data, and view GWSS videos.

  • Readiness-to-use inspection: An advisor will review prior-to-use inspection from a certified-GWSS perspective.

  • Practical awareness workshops: You’ll receive hands-on practical training with your crew.

Get started today

To keep your jobsites safe, rely on the expertise and full range of versatile, innovative trench shoring products like trench boxes, road plates, lite shields, and more available at The Cat Rental Store. They have the largest stock of GWSS in Western Canada, and they will put together the best solution for your project to ensure cost efficiency and, most importantly, your safety.

The Cat Rental Store adds value through availability, reliability, and accuracy. These are the cornerstones of their business—and their promise to you. And now, renting trench shoring is easier than ever thanks to Rental Point, an online portal that gives you 24/7 secure, mobile-friendly access to 1,800 products.

Learn more about the benefits of renting online here.

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.